The Capitol Sea Devils is a non-profit corporation founded in 1967 by Ms. Jane Stafford, who was a nationally recognized swim coach. Her goal was to provide swimming instruction and competition opportunities to swimmers of all ages and abilities. Over the intervening fifty years, The Capitol Sea Devils (TCSD) has grown to over 600 swimmers. Our swimmers have consistently proven themselves to be among the best in the nation, reaching the highest levels of age group, junior, and senior national competition. Many of our swimmers have gone on to outstanding swimming and academic careers in colleges and universities throughout the country.



Our mission is to provide excellence in professional coaching and programs that help swimmers achieve their maximum potential and strengthen their work ethic, self-esteem and respect for others. SDS offers a series of graduated programs that provide quality instruction and training to all our swimmers. Our coaches focus attention on stroke mechanics, conditioning, and overall physical development. Competition affords the swimmers a major, but not exclusive, measurement of their progress and development.



Developing champions and leaders in life, in the community, and in the water.


Chairman: Christopher Hardimon

President/Chief Operating Officer: Melanie McKula

Director of Coaching/Head Coach, Swim: Ian Handerhan

Treasurer: Sam Brownell

Vice President of Communication: Pete Kaiman

Vice President of Activities: Stephen Smittle

Head Coach Emeritus: Peter Karl

Head Coach, Water Polo: Jonah Dowd

Secretary: Megan La Belle

Vice President of Competition: Jim Mello

Vice President of Water Polo: Teresa Byrne




How to get involved

Team Awards

  • Speed Devil: Swimmers must successfully complete age based requirements listed below in a sanctioned USA Swimming competition between September to May during the year of the award. Disqualifications (DQs) do not count. If a swimmer ages up during the season and wishes to use the younger age group requirements, the swimmer MUST have completed the events while still within that age group.

  • 6 & Under: 25 free; 25 back; 50 in one stroke

  • 8 & Under: 25s in all strokes; 50s in all strokes except fly; 100 IM; 100 free

  • 9-10: 50s in all strokes; 100s in all strokes except fly; 100, 200 IM; 200 free

  • 11-12: 50s, 100s in all strokes; 200 free; 200 IM; 200 in one non-freestyle stoke; 500 free

  • 13 & Up: 50 free; 100s, 200s in all strokes; 500 free; 1000 or 1650 free; 200, 400 IM

  • Capitol Award: Presented by the coach to the swimmer in the training group is always a positive influence on the group, with consistent, regular attendance, and recognizes their responsibility to work to the best of their abilities.

  • A.C.E. Award: Attitude, Competition, Excellence. This award is presented to a swimmer in the training group that is a great competitor. They have swum at the majority of the meets offered and done very well. This is likely to be the fastest swimmer in your group (relative to age and gender).

  • Coach’s Award: One swimmer who has made a special effort, commitment, improvement, or contribution that the coach believes is worthy of recognition. A hard-worker who is an example to the rest of their group. This is the swimmer who makes it easier to come each and every practice because they are just fun to coach. Each coach gives a single coach’s award across all of their groups.

  • Elizabeth Jane Stafford Award: Jane Stafford was the founder of Sea Devils, which began back in 1967 as the “Stafford Sea Devils.” She always stressed the concept of contribution to the community as a whole and developing a sense of giving to others and becoming a good citizen. She saw competitive swimming not as an entity unto itself, but as a wonderful opportunity to help young people grow and develop into thoughtful adults who recognize that each of us brings different experiences, skills, and abilities to this world, and we need to be cognizant of this fact in working together without infringing on the rights of others. All the lessons learned through swimming can be applied to every aspect of life. The recipient of this award has demonstrated an understanding for the rights of all individuals they come into contact with, and a great sense of keeping a positive attitude and balanced perspective in all of their endeavors. This award is presented to one member of The Capitol Sea Devils team.


Team Records